[Imc-lasvegas] Gail's post, diversity, discussion, ideaology etc.
chevive at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 18 20:43:13 PST 2005
"Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"
-words addressed by Mr. Welch to Senator Joseph McCarthy, 9 June 1954 during the Army-McCarthy Hearings in Washington, D.C. http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/welch-mccarthy.html
In reading Gail's email an image of the McCarthy hearings came to mind- both becuase of what I feel is her insulting tone and blatant red-baiting.
Firstly, let me address the issue of the Kaminski article. All I have done on this list is express my personal opinion as to my perception that it was not racist. I have not attacked anyone personally nor insulted anyone. I have aired my views and listened respectfully to the views of others. I thought that was how consensus worked- I say my peice, you yours and we work amicably together to come to an understanding. And from my end it was working. Though I might not agree with him totally, I have over time and rereading come to better understand and at leat be sympathetic to Joe T.'s concerns about this article, though said sympathy would be easier if so much of his writing were not barbed with personal insults, attacks, and pedantic condesencion. I tend to agree with Joe S. that the best option at this point would be continued dialogue and to discuss it further at a meeting of the Editorial Collective. To my suprise, Gail the long champion of consensus process vehemently objects to this "tactic" of Joe's. I think it is unfortunate that she doesn't approve of meetings and group discussion. I also find it odd that someone who vehemently objects to the tactic of meetings and discussion in the same letter chooses to mock and ridicule ("hilarious," right?) the understanding and thoughts of others regarding what consensus and group decision making is or can be. Of course, perhaps her view of this process is becoming more widespread as witnessed by the low turn out at recent Editorial Collective meetings, and the fact that I was the ONLY person to come to the last one this past Saturday.
Also in Gail's email is the insinuation that anyone who expresses a view counter to her own is just being insulting and a bully. I would like to point out that while I did write and express my view of the article in question, I did not write anything personal against anyone. I certainly did not refer to anyone as "sheep bleating" nor did I find it neccessary to insinuate that those who disagree with me are mentally disturbed or deficient, another of Mr. Tangredi's favorite tactics. I did not do these things, and neither did Joe S., or koba the poster from the site that Gail quotes. (As an aside, is it proper or ethical to use this forum to quote and attack a poster who may not be on the list and thus have no chance to defend themselves?) The personal name calling and attacks come from Joe. T., whom Gail welcomes to the discussion as a great benifit to the whole thing. So, Joe T. because he agrees with Gail on the issue at hand is welcome and his blatant name calling and personal attacks are just fine and absolutely acceptable. Conversely, Joe S., koba, and myself are by definition insulting bullies simply because we disagree with Gail, regardless of whether or not we've resorted to personal attacks and name calling- the pattern is clear. (As another aside, I do welcome Joe T.'s input, just like I welcome anyone's, whether I agree with them or not. But, I do wish he would refrain from the "intellectually lazy" tactics of name calling and personal attacks.)
Lastly, I would like to address the "one ideaology" issue. I'll say straight up that in the past few days there has been a large influx of coss-posting from one site in particular, and that I have said publically on the site and on the E.C. list that I do not think that type of flooding cross posts is something we should encourage- even if it is cross-posting stuff that I like. At this point, I think stating that is sufficient action until we see what develops.
I do think that some reposting in moderation is benificial. For example, two of the RWOR articles posted were great in providing specific information about two murders that had been brought up in a posting from a California Anarchist Collective, and provided information that was both underreported and pertained to an oppressed group. This connection between these articles illustrates my larger point- Indymedia is an excellent outlet for a wide variety of views, a place for open information exchange (see LVIMC point of unity #2) across idealogical boundaries. I think this is one of Indymedia's greatest strengths, bringing different people and their opinions together. Within the past few months I've seen posts on LVIMC from and about communists, socialists, libertarians, Greens and anarchists; black people, white people, Jewish people, and hispanic people; atheists, Catholics, and Wiccans; men and women; queers and straights- all in dialogue, all discussing, all learning from eachother. I think this type of diversity is GREAT! This diversity and its benifits are precisely why I try to discourage us from over using censorship.
But what I understand Gail to be saying is that those whose ideaology (and everyone has ideaology whether or not it is open or even consistent) she disagrees with should not only be excluded from posting, but from working with IMC period. I must assume she is encouraging us to start a McCarthyist witch hunt to ferret out these deviant ideaologies- perhaps a full blown IMCUAC (IMC Un-American Activities Comittee) complete with loyalty oaths and grilling to the effect of "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" I can't help but notice in the past when a glut of posts appeared on the site promoting other ideaologies (anarchists, or pro Democrats, etc) no one was calling for ousting these "one idea" people. Again, the criteria seems to be whether Gail personally agrees with said ideaology, and apparently communism or socialism is particularly offensive to her and she's ready to start excomunicating people.
Frankly, I think this very suggestion of something along these lines is offensive not just to its targets but to the group as a whole. We have agreed as a group to promote certain ideas of positive social change, but we have not agreed, nor do I think we should agree to promote or ban any one particular method for achieving that change or what the change should specifically be. We have rightly agreed to ban racism, homophobia, etc, and though we might not always agree as to what constitutes those things, I'm glad we agree in principal to oppose them. But aside from that, I don't think we should be promoting or banning any particular ideaology. And I certainly don't think we should start seeking to dis-include people in our community based on their having strong convictions about some things. (IMC- Everyone welcome, unless you have convictions.) I believe that IMC has room and does in fact contain a wide variety of people with a wide variety of ideas as to what the best way to build a more just society are- and I hope they will all contribute their part. I might not agree with everthing everyone involved believes or does, but I do want to allow their input- I think we can learn from communists, and socialists, and anarchists, and democrats, and Greens, and maybe, just maybe, one random republican (though I'm not holding my breath.) I have my own strong political opinions, as anyone who knows me can attest, and I'm not shy about expressing them. But I also don't seek to ban others from expressing their views (with the exceptions already listed above). I welcome them, because it is through the free flow of information and its accompanying intellectual ferment and struggle that we learn and grow. The idea of some sort of idealogical litmus test is repugnant to me, and I hope to others involved here.
Thanks for listening,
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